First, what caught our eye locally:
Let us be among the many fans to welcome Jill Valley back to the KPAX anchor chair. Our thoughts have been with her.
Don't miss Jay Stevens' post on how Sens. Tester and Baucus obstructed Senate reform. It's a great read.
Travis Kavulla at Electric City Weblog lays into a different Tester deal: Canada is closing its border at Whitetail. That's the same spot where Tester curiously secured $15 million to upgrade the U.S. side.
Timothy Alex Akimoff's excellent Grizzly Growler blog reports Flathead Lake Brewing Company is opening a downtown Missoula taproom in the space vacated by Higgins Alley. According to GG, the brewery will team with a local restaurant. (UPDATE: We have it on good authority the restaurant is The Mandolin from the Union Club. Preliminary plans call for Flathead Brewing to take over the upstairs, formerly known as The Loft, and Mandolin to run its restaurant downstairs. Mandolin, meanwhile, will be moving out of the Union Club as early as this weekend.)
Ed Quillen over at High Country News updates Christo's newest art installation idea: "to suspend translucent panels over the Arkansas River between Salida and Canon City [in Colorado] for a two-week period, perhaps in August of 2013." One problem, though: Environmental impact.
And from other alternative weeklies:
Willamette Week remembers cartoonist John Callahan.
Fast Forward Weekly (Calgary) unveils the horror of "big box babycare." It's basically the Wal-Mart of child care. Awesome.
The Indy's own Advice Goddess (well, we share her syndicated column with dozens of other alt weeklies) gets profiled by Illinois Times. Among the secrets she reveals: How she met her boyfriend at an Apple store.
When the crew was preparing a fantasy sequence in the council chambers at the top of the King County Courthouse in which I cameo as a councilperson fending off a polar bear attack with a stapler, Cedric [The Entertainer] incidentally quipped—straight-faced—"I was born with bear paws."
On that note, enjoy the weekend. Happiest Hour will be posted around quittin' time.
As we write in the Indy this week, the Missoula Organization of Realtors (MOR) and Missoula Building Industries Association (MBIA) recently released its long-awaited report (PDF) on agriculture in Missoula. There was an interesting back-and-forth at the press conference last Friday we didn't have room to include in our story.
If you've been around Missoula long enough, you're familiar with how a very large peace sign becomes a battleground.
Independent film director Jan Selby is in the midst of making a film called 9 Pieces of Peace about the Water Works peace sign that began as a 30-foot high act of graffiti overlooking the Missoula Valley. The film is about the way residents reacted to its dismantlement and how, over a few decades, it grew into a much bigger community debate that has come to characterize Missoula's rebellious nature in many way—hence the replacement peace sign you can still see on the hill.
Today, Wednesday, July 28, from 5 to 8 p.m., you can go to Ten Spoon Winery to check out the movie trailer and view peace sign memorabilia. Plus you can share any stories—a videographer will be in attendance—about the peace sign with Selby. The fundraiser includes music by the Ethan Thompson Band and Rhanda Johnson, with food provided and wine for sale. $10/$5 for those "living lightly."
If you can't make it to the film benefit tonight you can still contribute your peace sign stories and comments to Selby by going to the film website, where you'll also learn more about upcoming events for the film.
Plus, Total Fest IX has now posted its full three-day schedule for your viewing pleasure. The popular indie rock festival that takes place in our fair city every summer for the past nine years, will host at least 48 bands on August
22, 23 and 24 19, 20 and 21. Sasshole—whose members are rock 'n’ roll pillars of the community—will hit the stage on Saturday night. The snarly, trash-talking, hell-if-we-care group is known for being candid with songs like “Stuck in a Dead Girl,” “Boiled Angel” and “Black Mass, Bloody Mess.”
Find Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology online, every Wednesday, one day before it hits the Indy's printed pages.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Success coach Tom Ferry says our ability to pursue our dreams can be damaged by four addictions: 1. an addiction to what other people think of us; 2. an addiction to creating melodrama in a misguided quest for excitement; 3. an addiction to believing we’re imprisoned by what happened in the past; 4. an addiction to negative thoughts that fill us with anxiety. The good news, Aries, is that in the coming weeks you will find it easier than usual to free yourself from addictions 1, 3, and 4. On the other hand, you may be extra susceptible to addiction 2. So take action to make sure you don’t fall victim to it! What can you do to avoid distracting adventures and trivial brouhahas?
"I would love to be characterized as a mini-Baucus," Sullivan admits in the article. "I'm doing my absolute dead-level best to think as much like him and become as much like him as I can. That's what I want to do."
Didn't Jon Tester say that exact same thing once? Just kidding, of course.
Sullivan, by the way, is from Arkansas and has never lived in Montana. He has, however, turned his office into a shrine to the state. Not kidding. From the Post:
[Sullivan] has developed such a loyalty to his boss's bosses — otherwise known as Montana voters — that he turned his luxurious staff director's office into "the Montana Room." A beautifully carved wooden "Montana" sign hangs above a large office window, and the walls are adorned with Larry Zabel paintings of Native Americans and cowboys, and breathtaking Big Sky scenery.
You can read more about "mini-Baucus" here.
Naturally, we gave it a try and found the following matches:
Staff writer Alex Sakariassen, from his "Guiding the Guardians" feature: James Joyce
Arts editor Erika Fredrickson, from her story about the last wild horse on Wild Horse Island: Stephen King
Staff writer Jessica Mayrer, from her current gadfly feature story: sci-fi/horror writer H.P. Lovecraft
Senior staff writer Matthew Frank, from his profile of Max Baucus during the health care reform debate: also H.P. Lovecraft
Political columnist George Ochenski: Lovecraft, a third time
Astrology columnist Rob Brezsny: Guess who? Yep, Lovecraft.
Meanwhile, I came up as Kurt Vonnegut based on an excerpt from a story on natural homebirth.
And what about some other Missoula folks?
Humor columnist Bob Wire: J.D. Salinger
Best-selling author James Lee Burke: David Foster Wallace
Missoulian editor Sherry Devlin: Stephen King
Novelist Kevin Canty: King, as well
And, finally, Sen. Jon Tester: Canadian blogger Cory Doctorow. Honest.
In this week's installment: calamitous prison escapes, intentionally terrifying clowns and a mother with questionable priorities.
Curses, Foiled Again
After police arrested Ronald White, 35, for shoplifting in Cinnaminson, N.J., they discovered he had outstanding warrants that required posting $400 bail. White paid cash. The next day, Detective Sgt. William K. Covert discovered that five of the $20 bills White used were counterfeit. “They’re pretty poor,” Covert said. “I didn’t have to touch them, and I knew they were bad.” Before police could locate White, he showed up at the police station to complain that he had overpaid his bail and wanted his money back. Officers found two more bogus $20 bills on him. “One of my favorite sayings is, you can’t teach stupid,” Covert said, “because every day something else comes up, and you just shake your head.”
Former Left in the West contributor Montana Cowgirl recently launched her own blog — and, man, is she keeping busy with interesting content.
In the last
week two days she's ...
- Linked to a Colorado Independent story about Western Tradition Partnership, a group started by
former Montana Speaker of the House Scott Sales and connected to former Belgrade legislator Jon Sinrud.
- Weighed in on Rep. Denny Rehberg joining The Tea Party Caucus.
- Noted how supporters of the failed "Personhood Amendment" continue to grasp for silver linings.
It's good stuff, and worth bookmarking.
Some other local blog topics that have caught our interest this week:
The U.S. Senate last night rejected the inclusion of the $3.4 billion Cobell settlement in a $60 billion appropriations bill for the War in Afghanistan, continuing months of congressional squabbling over the historic legal agreement. This is the second time the Senate has failed to take action for Indian Country, the first occurring in June when the jobs bill the settlement had been tacked to was caught in a filibuster. The House of Representatives passed the settlement as part of both bills.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has blasted Republicans like Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., repeatedly this summer for stalling the December 2009 settlement. Elouise Cobell, the chief plaintiff in the 14-year legal battle, has accused Republicans of attempting to kill the settlement completely by proposing serious changes to the amount of money awarded to Indian Country for the Department of the Interior's mismanagement of trust accounts. But Reid's criticisms seem somewhat out of place in light of last night's Senate vote, which at 46-51 suggests several Democrats opposing passage of the settlement as well.
The settlement also met with skepticism from several organizations in Indian Country this summer, who support the changes recommended by Barrasso and others. Pres. Barack Obama and the plaintiffs in the Cobell case have declared Aug. 6 their latest deadline for approval of the settlement.
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